World's Greatest Places 2021
The Dana Biosphere Reserve in Jordan.
Courtesy RSCN
July 20, 2021 6:35 AM EDT

Nestled in the remote Wadi Dana valley, the Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature preserve. Spanning over 120 sq. mi. of four distinct biogeographical zones, the reserve is home to rare regional flora and fauna including 25 protected endangered animal species, like the Syrian wolf and the spiny-tailed lizard. In March—to better protect the expansive area and the animals that inhabit it—conservation experts launched drones to survey the region to help curb poaching and carry out surveys of the mountainous area. Wadi Dana is also at the forefront of ecotourism initiatives like the award-winning Feynan Ecolodge, a solar-powered guesthouse that employs staff from local Bedouin families. —Yulia Denisyuk

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